Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson avoid arbitration with record deal

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The Toronto Blue Jays and Josh Donaldson have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $23 million deal, according to sources.

The superstar third baseman surpassed Bryce Harper's previous mark of $21.625 million and earned himself a $6 million raise over the $17 million he received in 2017.

Going the hearing route now would have done little good for the Blue Jays' relationship with Donaldson, especially with him eligible for free agency in the fall.

However, the 2015 American League MVP rebounded and slashed.276/.386/.606 with 24 home runs and 53 RBI after the All-Star break to finish the year with 33 dingers and 78 RBI. He hit.270 with a.385 on-base percentage and 33 homers. He missed 49 games last season, largely because of a calf injury.

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The reported salary would make Donaldson the highest paid player on the Blue Jays.

Toronto also agreed Friday to one-year deals with outfielder Ezequiel Carrera ($1.9 million) and left-hander Aaron Loup ($1,812,500).

Toronto's other arbitration eligible players are right-handers Dominic Leone, Roberto Osuna, Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman, outfielder Kevin Pillar and second baseman Devon Travis.

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